In the fourth episode of season 7 of Once Upon a Time, titled “Beauty,” flashbacks show us how Rumple and Belle (former series regular Emilie de Ravin) sought to ensure their happy ending. Meanwhile in present-day Hyperion Heights, when Tilly begins to awaken from the curse, Victoria has to keep her from alerting the others to the truth. This includes getting Weaver to handle the situation, but Tilly makes that complicated. Meanwhile, Ivy gets stuck looking after Lucy on Halloween, and Rogers makes a new friend.

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Belle and Rumple (Sort Of) Get Their Happy Ending

The episode begins with a flashback to Storybrooke where Belle and Rumple are throwing a party for Gideon’s first birthday. They’re still getting used to a chaos-free existence, but they’re happy. Rumple presents Belle with a present he says is for their family. It’s a book so they can record their travels because Rumple has decided that it’s about time Belle gets her wish of seeing the world.

When we next see them, Rumple takes his family to a bridge that Belle says is rumored to be older than time. People have been going there for thousands of years to make wishes. That’s the reason Rumple brought her to the bridge. Of the many years he’s lived, Rumple says the last 10 have been the happiest of his life and his only wish is to become mortal so he can live out a singular, natural life with Belle. He’s hoping that if he drops the Dark One dagger into the water, his wish will be granted. Alas, the wish doesn’t work, but Belle promises Rumple they will find a way to spend their lives together.

Years later, a grown up Gideon tells his parents that he got into a prestigious academy so he’s leaving them to head off to school. Rumple is sad that Gideon is leaving, but Belle reminds him that they’ve had 18 years with their son. To help lift his mood, Belle shows Rumple a fairy prophecy she recently discovered. The prophecy mentions a place where the Dark One might find a way to free himself of the darkness and Rumple easily recognizes the location as the Edge of Realms.

When they arrive at the Edge of Realms, Rumple explains that time moves differently here and it could be years before the prophecy comes to pass. Belle says she’s fine with that and they decide to build a home together in this beautiful land. In a lovely montage, we see Rumple and Belle building their home and living out many happy years together. The montage ends with a much older Belle collapsing in Rumple’s arms.

It turns out that Belle is dying of old age. Before she slips away though, Belle confesses to Rumple that she lied about the prophecy. It turns out that her death is the key to Rumple finding the answers he’s looking for. Only after she dies will Rumple be able to find the path to freeing himself from the darkness. With her last few minutes of life, Belle and Rumple reminisce over their complicated love story and Belle reminds him of how they always find their way back to each other. Belle promises Rumple that he will find her again one day and then she dies in his arms. It’s an incredibly moving scene played to perfection by Robert Carlyle and Emilie de Ravin. (Though this is seemingly the end for Belle, the prophecy gives us hope that both we and Rumple will see her again someday.)

After Belle dies, Rumple tells Gideon that he has to find someone called the Guardian so he can pass on the dagger to this person and finally be free of the darkness. Once he does this, he’ll be able to rest and he can be with Belle again. Rumple then travels to another realm where he runs smack dab into Alice and the two immediately hit it off.

Tilly is Waking Up

In present-day Hyperion Heights, Weaver (aka Rumple) tracks down Tilly (aka Alice) in a bid to find out if she’s learned anything about Victoria (aka Lady Tremaine.) Tilly does not like Victoria. This dislike stems from when Tilly’s ex-girlfriend worked for Victoria and said that Victoria would “rather scoop out her own eyes than do something nice for another human.” They end up discussing masks and puzzles and we get the feeling that Tilly is close to waking up from the curse.

Later that morning, Tilly accosts Victoria by sneaking into her car and popping up from the backseat. Tilly then peppers Victoria with questions that alert Victoria to the fact that Tilly might be waking up. Victoria scares Tilly off by spraying her with mace, and in her rush to escape, Tilly leaves her bag behind.

Victoria has Weaver pay her a visit at her office. She tells him about her encounter with Tilly and that Tilly had his card in her bag so she knows that Tilly is one of Weaver’s “street rats.” Victoria shows Weaver a bottle of pills belonging to Tilly. Victoria claims that if Tilly doesn’t take said pills, she becomes “confused” and “dangerous.” She tasks Weaver with getting Tilly back on her medication and having her locked up so she can’t hurt anyone. Weaver says it’s not in his interest to lock up one of his best informants, but Victoria has ways of making him cooperative. Apparently, she’s kept a record of his illegal dealings so if he doesn’t do as she asks, she’ll have him sent to prison for being a corrupt cop.

After leaving Victoria’s office, Weaver tells Rogers (aka Wish-Hook) that he thinks Tilly discovered something that Victoria is afraid will get out. Rogers is annoyed that Weaver and Victoria are using this girl as a pawn, but Weaver tells him to keep himself busy with his own missing girl case instead of getting involved with his informant.

Can Tilly Get Through to Weaver?

When Weaver tracks Tilly down, she admits that she stopped taking her pills, explaining that they make her blind to the world and she needs to see things in order to understand. She starts talking about the curse and dropping hints about Weaver’s true identity, but Weaver has no idea what she’s talking about. He asks her what she knows about Victoria and she says she’d rather show him than tell him.

On their way to their destination, Weaver gets Tilly to eat something, but she realizes too late that he’s put her pills into the food. Yet there’s still time before the pills take effect so Tilly leads Rumple to her hide out where she’s keeping the infamous chipped cup. She shows it to him in the hopes that it will help him wake up from the curse, but it doesn’t work. Since the cup didn’t wake Weaver up, Tilly pulls a gun on him. (Apparently, this is something Rumple told her to do in case the cup wasn’t enough to wake up.) Tilly then calls him by his real name before shooting him.  

Before he comes to in the hospital, Weaver dreams of Belle. Alas, the only person waiting for him when he wakes up is Rogers. Rogers is shocked that Weaver managed to survive the shooting and he jokes that Weaver must be immortal. Weaver asks after Tilly and Rogers says that she’s calm now because she’s back on her pills. Weaver tells Rogers to lie in the report and say he was shot by a masked robber. Rogers seems pleased to know that Weaver really does care about Tilly, after all.

While Weaver rests up, Rogers finds Tilly outside his hospital room. Rogers tells her that she’s not in trouble and she promises to keep taking her pills. They end up playing a game of chess, much like Wish-Hook did with his daughter before he lost her. (It seems obvious that Tilly/Alice is really Wish-Hook’s daughter, but is it too obvious? Will there be some twist as the story continues?)

As the episode comes to a close, Victoria comes to visit Weaver in the hospital. He tells her that he knows she’s hiding something big and he warns her to choose her next step wisely. He also tells her that she cannot do anything to hurt him anymore. Though Victoria seems none the wiser, we realize that Rumple is now awake and already planning his next move!

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Lucy Runs Away

It’s Halloween in Hyperion Heights and Ivy (aka Drizella) gets tasked with taking Lucy trick-or-treating since Jacinda is banned from seeing Lucy and Victoria has more important things to do. To say that Ivy is unimpressed would be an understatement. However, since Ivy’s distracted, Lucy is able to trade places with another kid and sneak off before Ivy realizes what has happened.

Meanwhile, Henry stops by Roni’s (aka Regina’s) bar and she immediately notices how sad he seems. Henry tells her about finding his loved ones’ graves at the cemetery and how it felt like losing them all over again. Roni, clearly speaking from experience, says that losing a loved one can make you afraid to move on, but you have to learn how to let go of the ghosts of the past. Roni thinks he owes it to himself to find happiness again and she suggests that he can start moving forward by asking Jacinda to a Halloween party.

Since she can’t take Lucy trick or treating, Jacinda (aka Cinderella) is at work on Halloween. Henry stops by and attempts to follow Roni’s advice, but before he can ask her out, Jacinda spots Ivy lurking around. Jacinda is frantic when she learns that Lucy ran away, but she cannot leave work or she’ll be fired. Henry offers to help Ivy look for Lucy so Jacinda doesn’t lose her job.

Henry and Ivy Get to Know One Another

While out searching for Lucy, Henry and Ivy have a heart-to-heart. Henry asks Ivy why she’s always cleaning up her mother’s messes and Ivy says that without Victoria, she doesn’t have anyone. They talk about how they both have baggage and Ivy asks how they get rid of it. Henry thinks they just need to take a chance on the thing that scares them and hope it works out. That is what he’s trying to do with Jacinda.

Off-screen, they track Lucy down at a haunted house. They then take her to Jacinda’s workplace and Ivy says there’s still an hour left for trick-or-treating. She says she’ll cover with Victoria so Jacinda can spend some time with Lucy. Jacinda invites Henry to participate in one of their Halloween traditions, but when she asks him why he came to see her earlier that day, he lies and claims he just wanted her to take a look at his blog post.

After failing to take a chance with Jacinda, Henry heads back to Roni’s bar where he just happens to run into Ivy. She buys him a drink and it becomes very clear that she’s planning to seduce him away from Jacinda. However, given that Victoria likely ordered Ivy to get close to Henry, will Ivy actually be able to go through with it?

What did you think of this episode of Once Upon a Time season 7? Were you pleased with how the show played out Rumple and Belle’s love story? Who do you think is this mysterious Guardian that Rumple is looking for? Will Rumple be able to clue the others in to the curse? Will Victoria figure out that he’s awake?

What do you think of the blossoming friendship between Rogers and Tilly? Did you, like me, appreciate the subtle way the show introduced Tilly’s sexuality? As she will likely get a love interest down the line, do you think it will be a character we’ve already met or someone new? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Once Upon a Time airs Fridays at 8/7c on ABC. Want more news? Follow our Once Upon a Time Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Megan Cole

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV